Smokin' new branding for BBQ restaurant

Small and relatively new studio Rock3rs has given upscale BBQ joint Epic Smokehouse branding that marries homely with high-class.

Epic Smokehouse, situated in Arlington, Virginia in the US, is a new "upscale barbecue" restaurant, serving "quality smoked meats and seafood paired with innovative cocktails and high-calibre wine at affordable prices," according to its blurb.

To convey this idea of homeliness meeting high-class cuisine, the owners commissioned New York-based Rock3rs - a small and relatively new studio - to create the branding, signage, menus, the website and other collateral.

“On any project at Rock3rs, our team has to be able to walk the space in their mind in order to visualise what elements will be installed, and where,” says the studio’s Ricardo Hernandez

"By learning more about the process of curing meat, we wanted the brand direction to reference the nostalgia of an old smokehouse set in a rural landscape," says Rock3rs' Ricardo Hernandez.

"We approached the process and elements collectively. We worked with the architect to understand the material palette and spatial experience, and our team then worked within those parameters to develop a family of graphics to be used inside and outside the restaurant."

The minimal and rural theme continues with the website branding...

The studio’s first task was to decide which elements needed to be graphical, practical or both. "Environments are always challenging because you’re working with human scale and multiple interactions between space, graphics and users," he explains.

...and on the mobile site too

According to Hernandez, the studio team started by designing the illustrations that best fitted the interior environment of the restaurant. "Then we explored spatial opportunities and what kind of interaction we wanted between users and graphics,” he continues.

For the final stage, Rock3rs worked closely with the architects Collective Architecture to explore and test the applications on the architectural elevations.

This article was originally published in Computer Arts issue 210.

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